candlesnuffer aka david brown

... money's dark night ...


with Morpho
Morpho CD
Dr Jim's, 2006

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Andy Hamilton, The Wire
Morpho is a unique studio colloboration by two Melbourne artists. Improv guitarist Dave Brown is known for his work in avantjazz outfit Bucketrider, with contemporary Third-Streamers Pateras/ Baxter/Brown, and as solo laptop/prepared guitar project Candlesnuffer. David Wadelton is a cyber-surrealist pop-influenced painter whose work is found in the National Gallery Victoria and the Australian National Gallery Canberra. The pair were at art school together, and founded influential early 80s Melbourne post-punk band Signals. Wadelton then packed away his instruments, and Morpho marks his return to music after a 20 year hiatus. Included in the package is a limited edition print of his cover art. - his work can be found at http://members.optusnet.com.au/~davidwadelton.

Listeners who've followed Brown's recent career might have expected something with a Derek Bailey or musique concrète influence, so it comes as a shock to find guitars, keyboards, samples and electronica in affectionate tribute to the 60s and 70s rock and pop the musicians grew up with. They focus especially on funk, blaxploitation and porn soundtracks as reinterpreted on European and South American films - where as Brown says "they don't quite get it, but in the process invent their own bizarre musical world". Brown's knowledge of all areas of popular music is encyclopaedic, but it's a revelation to find the two musicians turning their attention to Martians with ray guns, film noir mobsters, road movies and Manga porn. "Morpho" himself is a lackey to the central lesbian vampire character in the film Vampyros Lesbos, a cult classic that somehow passed me by.

The churning rhythmic exotica of "Listen Carefully" is set against a War Of The Worlds backdrop, while "Straight to Video" is bombastic Shaft territory. The synthy, formulaic fuzz of "She's Out, Bigman" features snippets of talk radio which as Wadelton explains were recorded off a New York AM show where people won prizes for physical stunts - one man stopped an electrical fan with his tongue, while the interjection "Wow - those babies are out" refers to a woman who played the piano with her breasts, allegedly. It's not all entirely tongue in cheek, or tongue in fan, though - there's blistering rock guitar by Brown especially on "Surf, Instrumentals and Exploitation". The result is a bizarrely magnificent celebration of kitsch cinema and its musical progeny - offkey and engaging.